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Distinguising between the letter ل and ا

It is important to be able to distinguish between ل and ا. See in the tables below that ل connects to the next letter to the left, while ا does not.

For ل :

Final
Connected only to the letter before it.
ـل
كِل
all

Medial
Connected to the letter before and after it.
ـلـ
عَلَى
at

Initial
Connected only to the letter before it.
لـ
لَوْ
second

Isolated
Written alone or after a non-connecting letter.
ل

For ا :

Final
Connected only to the letter before it.
ـا
كَمَان
also

Medial
-
-
-
Initial
-
-
-
Isolated
Written alone or after a non-connecting letter.
ا
وَاحَد
one (1)

Memory Aid

Think that ل is a friendly little Lamb who likes cosying up to the next letter, while the letter aleph – ا – is aloof, cold, and distant.